The Argentine Institute of Scientific and Technical Research Will Launch the Gradicom II Rocket
By Dialogo May 06, 2011In July, the Defense Institute of Scientific and Technical Research (CITEDEF, an agency of the Argentine Defense Ministry) will launch the Gradicom II rocket, expected to reach an altitude of one hundred kilometers following the success of the Gradicom I in 2009, which reached forty kilometers.
According to CITEDEF director Eduardo Fabre, the progress promoted by the national government in the defense industry is reflected in the development of rocket programs and in missile refurbishment, among other projects. In this way, “starting from a decision by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, vector development was restarted after twenty-five years of inactivity.”
The first experiment was carried out in 2009 with the Gradicom I, which reached an altitude of forty kilometers. “This year we’ve developing two rockets: the Gradicom II, which will be launched in July and will reach an altitude of one hundred kilometers; and another one with which we’re looking to reach four hundred kilometers, which is expected to be launched at the end of this year or the beginning of 2012,” he explained.
The CITEDEF president led the presentation of the numerous projects underway at the agency to a group of journalists specialized in the topic, who toured the installations and had the opportunity to learn details about projects such as the Crisis System, a wind turbine for extreme conditions, antennas and radars, the CP30 multiple rocket launcher, lidar (sensing technology for atmospheric studies), hydrogen fuel cells, and shooting, tank, and flight simulators, among others.
On its nineteen hectares located in the Buenos Aires locality of Villa Martelli, CITEDEF has numerous installations devoted to laboratories, workshops, test fields, and offices in which its more than six hundred professionals carry out their activities.
The agency’s head also referred to the program of refurbishing missiles that were purchased by Argentina and other Latin American countries in the 1980s and are now out of service. “Following a complex process of reengineering, it’s been possible to refurbish ASPID missiles. They’ve been put through bench and flight tests and have shown good results, and ten have already been delivered to the Argentine Navy,” Fabre indicated.
“With this work, in addition to providing the country with missile capability, there’s also a potential market in UNASUR countries that also have missiles that have gone out of service and are in storage, without the ability to use them.” And he added, “Several countries have expressed an interest in having CITEDEF refurbish that capability in their respective vectors. We’re currently in ongoing negotiations with Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru.”